Memory Essay

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・9 Sources

Memory is an important aspect of human life since it impacts a person's daily actions. Numerous research studies have been conducted to examine the elements that influence memory recall, such as age and gender. The current work concentrated on two conditions: graphic information and spoken information. The conditions were evaluated based on gender to see if there was a significant difference in memory recall between males and females. Purposive sampling was used to select 48 responders from a population. For 60 seconds, respondents were given either a list of words or a sheet of pictures. Later, they were given mathematical equations to answer as a distraction job. Finally, they were assessed if they could recall the previous information. The results were analyzed and it emerged that women recalled words faster than men. On the other hand, men recalled images faster than women. The research finally concluded that there is a significant difference in recall between the pictorial and verbal conditions and also between genders.


Memory recall is a critical part of a human’s life. The ability to recall is dependent on some factors which include the nature of the information and the style used to convey the information. Research indicates that individuals are more likely to recall information presented in the form of pictures than those offered in textual format. The comprehension of how various modes of informational presentation can impact on the memory of an individual has been studied in multiple disciplines ranging from education to advertising (Ganley & Vasilyeva, 2014). The study has been useful in the field of education as it helps in determining the best strategies aimed at enhancing student’s vocabularies.

In the field of advertising, the presentation of information could bring out the difference between the recognition of the product and its failure. Studies have explored different presentation methods to assess the best technique that aid in enhancing memorability (Kopcha, Otumfuor & Wang, 2015). Numerous studies have evaluated the differences between the pictorial memory and the textual memory to ascertain the most reliable method in recalling. Past research indicates a more exceptional ability to remember information presented in a graphic form as opposed to that shown in a textual format (Grysman & Hudson, 2013). Furthermore, other studies have focused on the difference in memory abilities between men and women. Women are often known to have a better verbal memory compared to men.

The fact that women have a higher ability to recall most of the verbal information is not enough to conclude that women have stronger memories than men. There is need to research other informational styles which include the textual information to ascertain any similarity in the results obtained. The findings of the past research studies on the effect of gender have given varied reactions. A survey by Chipman and Kimura found that there was no significant sex difference in the ability to recall graphic images. However, a study by Lunnen gave a different perspective. The results indicated that women had a more excellent ability to remember pictorial information than their male counterparts (Lunnen, 2014). Furthermore, it also emerged that the same group had a higher recall mean for the verbal information. The previous studies form the basis for the current research as they offer a clear direction of research and the gaps identified. The present research while it focuses on gender difference in memory recall, it seeks to assess the variation based on two informational styles; the pictorial and the verbal informational techniques. Past research studies have been dominated by the graphics and textual methods (Lunnen, 2014). There is limited research assessing the gender difference in memory recall basing on verbal informational style.

The current report seeks to assess whether or not there is gender difference between pictorial and verbal memory recall. The results and the findings of the report are critical in future information presentation. The findings will help in presenting information in a style that is widely recalled by the receivers (Mittal et al., 2016). In the research, the independent variables are gender, which is given in two levels, the males, and the females. The other independent variable is the presentation of stimuli. The variable also comes in two standards which include the pictorial and verbal presentation. On the other hand, the dependent variable is memory recall.


The study will non-probability sampling to obtain the 48 participants. The purposive sampling procedure is used to sample out the respondents from the population. The main reasons behind the sampling method are that it saves time, money and effort. Furthermore, the sampling technique meets several needs and interests. Purposive sampling also allows the researcher to obtain a sample based on the purpose of the research and the knowledge about the entire population (Jones & Jones, 2014). The research study will focus on two conditions, the verbal and the pictorial condition. The correct number of items recalled will be measured along with gender difference within and between the states making it a 2-way between subjects model ANOVA.


H0: There is a difference in recall between the pictorial and verbal conditions and also between genders.

H1: There is no difference in recall between the pictorial and verbal conditions and also between genders.


In the study, all the participants will be presented with a list of words and pictures to memorize for sixty seconds. The list of words and the images will be prepared on a sheet of paper. There will be another sheet containing simple mathematical equations that will act as a distraction task.

Procedure Outline

After getting the participants, they will be allocated randomly to one of the conditions, either a list of words or pictures. They will be exposed to the states for 60 seconds. The time is enough for them to capture all the information contained in the sheets. At the close of the 60 seconds, the sheets will be taken away and replaced with different sets containing mathematical equations. The aim of bringing in the second sheet is to distract their memories. The distraction task will take a maximum of 40 seconds. The sheet will contain simple mathematical equations, and no cue and prompts are given to advantage one condition from the other. Finally, the participants will be given another 60 seconds to recall as many items as possible accurately. During this time, the number of items recalled by every respondent will be noted down and later analyzed to ascertain the difference. All the data will be recorded on an excel sheet and then verified before being exported to the Statistical Software for Social Sciences (SPSS) for detailed analysis. The data analysis will involve descriptive statistics and ANOVA models which are used to test the effects of variables.

Ethical issues

One of the major moral point to be considered is ensuring that the respondents are aware of the details of the research, their role and what is expected of them. Therefore, they will be required to sign an informed consent form, indicating their full knowledge of the research and its objectives. The process is critical in ensuring that the researcher is dealing with the right group. Also, the participants will not be required to indicate their names; instead, they will be assigned serial number to identify them. Furthermore, the results of the research study will be sealed, and no third party will be allowed any access to the findings. The process helps in ensuring the confidentiality of the results is adequately maintained.


After carrying out the study, the results were obtained and analyzed. The univariate analysis of variance was conducted on the data, and the results are as shown in the tables below

Analysis of Variance

The results indicate that between-subjects factors were the same for both the condition and gender. Additionally, the means from the descriptive statistics table reported that for the words, the male had a mean of 11.5833 while the female group had an average of 9.6667. In the results, 12 men and 12 females had taken part in the study. Their overall mean for words was 10.6250. Secondly, for the images, the average for the male group was 14.5 while the standard for the female team was 17.5833. Their overall mean for the pictorial information was 16.0417. Finally, the total recall means for the two condition for the males was 13.0417 while that for the females was 13.6250. The overall mean for the two states was 13.3333. The total standard deviation for the words was 2.3184 while that of images was 4.36865. The two standard deviations were combined to give the overall value of 4.41146.

Also, the test of between-subjects effects was performed on the data, and the results showed that condition was statistically significant. Also, the value of 0.012 for the interaction between gender and condition was statistically significant since the figure is less than the conventional level of 0.05. The R Square obtained from the results was 0.471, indicating that the current model can explain 47.1% of the variation in the data. The adjusted R Square was 0.435 meaning that 43.5% of the difference could be obtained if the same study was subjected to a different population thus showing a shrinkage of 3.6%.

Analysis of Means and Standard Deviations

Displaying the mean and standard deviation of correctly recall stimuli in both the conditions for males and females (1: words & 2: images).

  Male Female 
Condition 1  11.58 (2.31) 9.67 (1.97)
Condition 2  14.50 (3.66) 17.58 (4.62)

The results of a between-subjects two way ANOVA showed a statistically significant main effect in learning stimulus (words and pictures) F (1, 44) =32.04, p<.001. However there was no statistically significant main effect for gender F (1, 44) =.372, p=.55. There was a significant interaction between gender and condition F (1, 44) =6.83, p=.012.

Marginal Means

The above diagram shows the means for both the males and females basing on the conditions. The graph shows that the male group has a higher mean than the woman for the category of words. Also, the female team has a higher mean for the images than their male counterparts.


The above results have shown that the two gender groups have different memory recall abilities for the two conditions. First, the female group has a more excellent ability to recall images more than the words. The results, therefore, support the previous studies by Lunnen that women have a more exceptional capability to remember pictorial information than men. The means indicate that men can recall easily information presented in words compared to women. The results for the graphic difference contradict the findings of Chipman and Kimura whose findings showed that there was no significant sex difference in the ability to recall visual images.

From the analysis of variance, the effects of the condition and gender are substantial and statistically significant. The findings indicate that the ability to recall both the words and images were affected by gender. The results also contradicted the widespread belief that women can quickly remember verbal information compared to pictorial representations. The findings found that women are can recall images more than the words. On the other hand, the results for men also indicated that they could remember a lot of information presented in image form than the textual form (Ridout et al., 2016). The overall effect is that both men and women were able to recall information in pictorial form than the data presented in a verbal format.

The above results are consistent with the previous studies indicating that there is a significant difference in recall between the pictorial and verbal conditions and also between genders (von Stülpnagel, Steffens & Schult, 2016). Also, from the R Square obtained, it is evident that the current model can only explain 47 % of the variation; therefore, future research studies should focus on other variables other than gender which contribute to the ability to recall information presented in both pictorial and textual format (Zimmerman et al., 2015). There are variables not covered in the current study whose effect is still significant in explaining the variation in memory recall for the two conditions. Such variables could include the age of the respondent.


Memory recall varies due to different factors. The above study shows that gender has a significant impact on the ability to recall textual and pictorial information. The males can remember worded information faster than women while the females can recall graphic details more quickly than men. The researcher can, therefore, fail to reject the null hypothesis that there is a difference in recall between the pictorial and verbal conditions and also between genders. The research findings also show similarity with the previous studies implying that nothing has changed over time in the manner in which the two groups recall information presented in the two formats.


Chipman, K. and Kimura, D. (2010). An investigation of sex differences on incidental memory for verbal and pictorial material. Learning and Individual Differences, 10(4), pp.259-272.

Ganley, C. M., & Vasilyeva, M. (2014). The role of anxiety and working memory in gender differences in mathematics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(1), 105.

Grysman, A., & Hudson, J. A. (2013). Gender differences in autobiographical memory: Developmental and methodological considerations. Developmental Review, 33(3), 239-272.

Jones, B. M., & Jones, M. K. (2014). Alcohol and memory impairment in male and female social drinkers. Alcohol and Human Memory (PLE: Memory), 2, 127-40.

Kirk, M. Lunnen, (2014). Group and gender differences in total recall and serial position effect for pictorial, textual, and contextual stimuli. Journal of Undergraduate research. Pp. 451-454

Kopcha, T. J., Otumfuor, B. A., & Wang, L. (2015). Effects of spatial ability, gender differences, and pictorial training on children using 2-D and 3-D environments to recall landmark locations from memory. Journal of research on technology in education, 47(1), 1-20.

Mittal, S., Jain, N., Verma, P., Garg, N., Devi, S., Munjal, S., ... & Jheetey, S. (2016). Gender Preference for Auditory Versus Visual Routes for Memorization.

Ridout, N., Dritschel, B., Matthews, K., & O'Carroll, R. (2016). Autobiographical memory specificity in response to verbal and pictorial cues in clinical depression. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 51, 109-115.

von Stülpnagel, R., Steffens, M. C., & Schult, J. C. (2016). Memory for Five Novel Naturalistic Activities: No Memory Recall Advantage for Enactment over Observation or Pictorial Learning. Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis, 12(2).

Zimmerman, M. E., Katz, M. J., Wang, C., Burns, L. C., Berman, R. M., Derby, C. A., ... & Lipton, R. B. (2015). Comparison of “Word” vs.“Picture” version of the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) in older adults. Alzheimer's & dementia: diagnosis, assessment & disease monitoring, 1(1), 94-100.

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